Driver charged in fatal wreck
The driver in a May 13 double-fatality wreck in Columbia County was arrested and charged Tuesday with two counts of homicide by motor vehicle and driving under the influence.
Christopher Brandon Newman, 24, of the 6100 block of Harlem Grovetown Road, Harlem, was released Wednesday from the Columbia County Detention Center on $64,700 bond. Newman also was charged with driving too fast for conditions, open container, reckless driving and serious injury by motor vehicle.
The wreck occurred at about 3 a.m. when a Dodge pickup driven by Newman left Harlem-Grovetown Road near Young Drive and hit a pine tree, killing Newman's brother, Cameron Newman, 23, of Harlem, and Mallory Jason, 19, of Martinez.
The driver was taken to the hospital, as was passenger Sara Boykin, 16.
Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said police arrested Newman after toxicology results showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.10; the legal limit is 0.08. The results from a drug test are pending.
Morris said that before the wreck, the four people had been to two parties in Richmond County.
Speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, Morris said, and deputies are looking into the possibility that the truck was racing with another vehicle. He said additional charges in the case have not been ruled out.
Two teacher's aides charged with burglary
A surveillance camera video and a chance sighting landed two elementary school paraprofessionals in jail Tuesday on a charge of burglary.
Sarah O'Neal Wint, 48, of the 800 block of Brookfield Parkway, Martinez, and Susan Elizabeth Kelly, 36, of the 500 block of Edgecliff Lane, Evans, assist at Stevens Creek Elementary. They were charged in the burglary of a house under construction at 911 Bartram Ridge Road.
The women, who were released on $10,000 bond each, also are employees of Bullseye Marketing, a division of The Augusta Chronicle.
A Columbia County builder helped police make the arrest and said he had caught the women on surveillance video breaking into one of his houses under construction and taking a kitchen sink spray hose.
The builder noticed the same women trying to break into another builder's house that was under construction. He called the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and followed the women as they drove to a nearby Subway.
Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said authorities are investigating whether the women have been involved in similar burglaries.
Tommy Price, the Columbia County school superintendent, said the paraprofessionals' employment status with the school system depends on the outcome of the police investigation.
Price said school officials will continue to look into the matter to determine how they can assist the sheriff's office in its investigation.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
Suspect in Evans shoplifting in Aiken jail
An Augusta man incarcerated in an Aiken jail is suspected in a series of Columbia County shoplifting incidents.
Bart Wayne King, 44, of the 1400 block of Springfield Circle, is a suspect in at least two shoplifting incidents at the Target on Washington Road in Evans. King was arrested Monday at an Aiken Target on charges of shoplifting and breach of trust and was being held Friday at the Aiken County Detention Center on $2,175 bond, jailers said.
In separate incidents May 7 and May 12, a manager of the Evans store said King took electronics without paying. During the later incident, the manager said, he confronted King and prevented him from taking a stereo system.
Golf cart used in theft from Grovetown home
A golf cart stolen Tuesday from a Grovetown home was apparently used in a theft from a nearby residence.
A 59-year-old man from Mill Creek Lane told deputies his E-Z-Go cart was stolen from his yard. At about the same time, a 50-year-old neighbor told deputies, parts from his Honda all-terrain vehicle were stolen from his unlocked garage on Blue Grass Trail.
The golf cart was recovered along Mill Creek Lane after presumably hauling the ATV parts.
Locksmith reports car break-in, theft
An Evans locksmith told deputies Monday that someone stole a gun and equipment to make keys from his van.
The 58-year-old from Greystone Place said the thief made off with a .40-caliber Glock pistol, a key code machine and two other key-making machines.
The thief also took lock picks, tools and locksmith manuals.
The locksmith said what was taken would enable the thief to enter most residences or vehicles.
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